James C. (Chris) Seat


Paper: Aviation Week Program Managers Identify Issues Demanding New Best Practices

Abstract: Members of the A&D program/project management community will discuss the hottest issues facing today’s program and project leaders while also identifying areas of best practice most needed to address the challenges of tomorrow. This interactive session will be facilitated by members of the Aviation Week Program Excellence Evaluation Team, including speaker Chris Seat, and Carole Rickard Hedden, who heads Aviation Week’s Program Excellence initiative.

Biography: As Senior Vice President of Programs for the Aircraft Systems business unit of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), Chris Seat is responsible for managing all development, production, and support programs for the GA-ASI family of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems for military and commercial applications worldwide.

Mr. Seat served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years, retiring as a Colonel. Previous assignments included Director of the F-22 Combined Test Force at Edwards AFB, Chief of Advanced Sensors and Weapons for Air Force Special Programs at the Pentagon, Commander of the 40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin AFB, and Operations Officer for the F-117 Combined Test Force in Palmdale, Calif. He retired as a command pilot with more than 3,600 flight hours in over 30 aircraft types, including the F-22, F-15, F-16, F-117, and F-106.

Mr. Seat is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. As a Guggenheim Fellow, he completed a Master’s in Aeronautical Engineering at Princeton University.

Mr. Seat graduated from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School as his class’s top graduate and is currently an Associate Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, where he has served on the organization’s Board of Directors. In 2009, he received a local American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) award for Outstanding Contribution to Aerospace Management.